Recap and Upcoming

Despite the lack of updates to this crusty old website of mine, I’ve found myself quite busy since my last post here. Firstly, TIN CAN, the feature film I co-wrote and acted in, has finally been released in Canada and the USA. You should be able to find it on-demand via all the usual platforms. TIN CAN is a fantasy-sci-fi-horror that centres around a pandemic. Director Seth A. Smith and I wrote the thing in 2017-18, and it was shot in 2019. So, it was spooky to see Covid emerge only months after we wrapped. And now that the film is out, it’s been fascinating to see how it fares in the Covid-era. Critics have been quite positive. Here are a few of my favourite reviews: The New York Times, Screen Anarchy, Wicked Horror, Film Book, and Morbidly Beautiful.

Until recently, all my work as an actor revolved around projects I’ve written with my longtime collaborator Seth A Smith. That changed last year when I got cast for a small role on the fourth season of The Sinner, which just happens to be one of my favourite series. I played a backwoods degenerate—an easy role for me. I appear in a couple of episodes (and always with the great Bill Pullman). I’m only on screen for a few minutes. Nevertheless, the entire Sinner experience was fantastic – a gig I’ll never forget. The Sinner S4 hits Netflix in Canada/USA on October 13th.

My chik white musical hustle has been busy as well. I released a slew of albums over the last couple of years. Most of them are digital-only, but I also released a few physical objects, including a limited-edition lathe on Feeding Tube, a split CS with noise artist Hermit on Absurd Exposition, and a weird-o toy bugle CS for the UK label Soundholes’ Solo Horn series (recently reviewed in The Wire). All these releases and more are available on my Bandcamp page. Consider making a purchase. I appreciate the support.

I have a lot planned for the upcoming months. I have a collaborative LP with Philly guitarist Bill Nace slowly making its way through the manufacturing plant. There’s an experimental alphorn record in the works with the Texas label Full Spectrum. And I’m getting back to playing live and touring. I’ll return to the stage on October 16th at the Tranzac Club in Toronto, where I’ll play solo and also duo with my old pal Colin Fisher. I may tour Europe in the spring (fingers crossed). And I return to Toronto on June 9rd, 2023, to premiere Spore Wind, a jaw harp concerto written for me by composer Becka Simms. This piece has been in the works for the last two years. I can’t wait to finally perform it live with an ensemble. Continuum Music is presenting the concerto. Details here.

More from me soon. Thanks for reading.

marshlands short film, new releases from 2020

Even though 2020 started with two cancelled tours and lots of uncertainty, I’ve managed to stay somewhat motivated and productive. I hope that you’re also getting by in okay shape. 

I issued a number of self-releases in 2020. The first was our water is fire, a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher. We recorded this in a single session back in November 2019, when I was in Toronto for a concert and talk at the Canadian Music Centre (seems like a lifetime ago). The album marks a progression in my musical relationship with Colin and showcases some wild, unhinged playing. Free Jazz Collective gave our water is fire 4.5 stars out of 5 (not that I’m keeping score). In early spring I also self-released a short diary-like solo album called interiors as well as a collection of Northern Spring Peeper field recordings. My most recent self-release is Atlantic Ocean Recordings 2020, a long-form collection of water sounds. These albums can all be download for free/PWYC from my Bandcamp page

Although I tend to release much of my own material, I did work with a few labels this year. In April, Belgian imprint Kraak Records commissioned me to produce a collection of isolation performance videos for their Spring Brakers series. Using my phone, I shot videos of myself improvising with nose flute, jaw harp, and voice in various locations around my property and neighbourhood. Shortly after the collection was released on the Spring Brakers site, Cafe Oto’s new label, Taku Roku, released the remastered audio from these videos as a digital-only album entitled 207. Half the sales of 207 go to support Cafe Oto, one of the premier experimental music venues in the world. My most recent label release is next spring, a short digital EP for Kraak’s new sub-label, Krut. The album is available to download on its own and will eventually accompany a multi-artist book. 

By far the most significant project for me this year was marshlands, my musical short film about the tidal flats in front of my home in Chezzetcook, Nova Scotia. With the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, I was able to spend two months developing my filmmaking skills in order to produce this work.  The film centres around a recurring dream about the shape-shifting salt marsh. My mind is absorbed; a doppelganger nose flute allows me to transcend. The film will screen at a number of festivals in 2021. An extended version of the score is now available on my Bandcamp page.

Okay, that’s it from me. Links to most of what I discuss here are available from my Link Tree URL. Much of my work is free/pay-what-you-can. So don’t be shy. If something that I’ve created speaks to you, please take it. And if you’d be so kind, share it with your community. 

Bill Nace/chik white – Eel (all parts) 7″

bill chik

Philly guitarist Bill Nace and I have been collaborating for the last year. This 7″, released on Bill’s Open Mouth Records, is our first offering. We hope to follow it up with an LP next year.

There were only 150 copies of this thing made. Bill sold out right away, as did the couple of distros that carried it. I likely have the last copies. I wasn’t going to do mail order because it’s so expensive to ship outside of Canada (and I hate taking your money). But people keep asking, so I figured I may as well sell a few on here. I will have copies at my shows this fall, but if you’d like to order through the mail, send funds to my paypal. I’ll get your order off in 2 to 3 days.

$15 ppd Canada
$20 ppd rest of world
Canadian funds
paypal to darcyspidle(at)outlook(dot)com



Spring 2019 Update

The European tour went well. Much thanks to Kraak Records and all the other presenters for showing me such fantastic hospitality. After getting home, I dove back into a number of screenplay projects. Most notably, my partner Seth Smith and I finished the final draft of Tin Can, a bio-sci-fi thriller set inside a cyro-preservation chamber. The script immediately went to production —  and we wrapped this month. Besides co-writing Tin Can, I also put my acting hat back on for this one — in fact, I played three different characters/creatures. What a ride! Other cast members include Anna Hopkins, Simon Mutabazi, and the great Michael Ironside. We’re all very excited. Tin Can will premiere in early 2020.

I’ve been busy with music-related endeavors as well. In December, Musicworks Magazine published “Trauma of My Mouth”, an extensive essay that I wrote about jaw harps, dental pain, and paranoia. I’ve also been working on a collaboration with Philly guitarist Bill Nace; we’re about to release a 7 inch. And I have a cassette on the way with Toronto vocal improviser Xuan Ye.

I’ve taken a break from performing for the last few months, but I have a festival date planned for September. I’m also putting together a Canadian tour for late 2019 and a European tour for spring 2020.


live cassette on UK label Chocolate Monk and other news

cover“their faces closed is a collection of live recordings from my fall 2017 cross-Canada tour. I didn’t sleep well and my thoughts were uneasy for much of the trip, yet the beauty of the country, especially the mountains out West, put me in a reverent and contemplative mood. I had a lot to work through each night on stage. The tracks I chose for this release all felt earnest and whole when they spewed forth—a mix of comedy and confusion for the spectator, no doubt. But know that I tried my best to acknowledge what was flowing through me in each moment. I was attuned to the jaw harps as well.

The sounds at the end are from a cassette of ocean recordings that I had buried in a salt flat for awhile. It’s a bit gnarled. I took this recording of my home with me on tour and used it as part of my set only once—when I reached the Pacific in Victoria, BC.  Eventually it’s all washing over.

Thanks to the folks across Canada who indulged me during this time.  And thanks to Dylan for giving these weird introspections a home.”

Stream the album on my Bandcamp page or order a limited edition physical copy from Chocolate Monk.



In other news, my raft recordings from economy cassette on Notice Recordings made Wire Magazine’s Size Matters 2017 Top Ten. The cassette is long sold out, but you can stream/purchase the digital version on Bandcamp.

Also, for those of you interested in the ruminations of chik white, I did a fairly extensive interview with Slovenian magazine It’s Psychedelic Baby. Check it out here.

And that’s it for now. I am firming up a European tour for later in the year, and there are a few Canadian dates in the works as well. So check back soon for details. Thanks!

chik white – stranger calls to land LP and Canadian tour

album-picI have a new chik white LP out on the mighty FEEDING TUBE RECORDS! The label has released albums by so many of my favorite artists — Joshua Abrams, Kim Gordon, Chris Corsano, Michael Hurley, Thurston Moore, Tashi Dorji++. An insane roster.

stranger calls to land is a compilation drawn from past tapes and unreleased material. My favorite music writer, Byron Coley, curated the track selections and wrote the liner notes. The LP is available now. I’ll be touring Canada to support it. Dates below.

chik white – stranger calls to land LP
Over the past few years, we started hearing solo jaw harp cassettes by a Canadian musician who called himself chik white. Some of them were straight-forward somewhat-folky blasts of righteousness, others used studio effects to emphasize the psychedelic qualities of the instrument (or so it seemed), and others were nature-based explorations of the jaw harp’s drone possibilities. Heard individually they were striking, but listened to as a group, they went way beyond that.

We got in touch with chik (the soubriquet for Darcy Spidle when he’s playing in this format) and suggested doing an LP that would provide a thorough overview of the work he’s done thus far. He sent tapes of material that had been out previously, as well as a bunch of never-before-heard work, and we dove straight in. stranger calls to land is the quite amazing result.

The jaw harp is such an ancient, basic and humanistic instrument it has a strangely organic quality no matter how it’s played. But many of chik white’s sessions take this essential element in extreme directions. This is particularly true for the two tracks we lifted from raft recordings from economy (Notice Recordings MC), which was taped while floating on a homemade raft-cum-instrument in the Bay of Fundy. The sound, the concept, the whole gestalt of this project defy logic so utterly we’ve found it impossible to not be swept along by the waves, the wind and the weirdness of the entire process.

While operating in Spidle mode, Darcy played in punk bands, ran the Divorce record label and founded the annual OBEY Convention up in Halifax. But we like to think his heart belongs to chik white. There is, after all, something ineffable about a man and a jaw harp. If you don’t agree after giving this LP a spin, we will eat a shoe. And that’s not something we ever plan to do. -Byron Coley/Feeding Tube, 2017 – ORDER VINYL OR DIGITAL

Canadian tour fall 2017
Nov. 7 – Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo w/ Skin Tone
Nov. 8 – Ottawa, ON @ General Assembly
Nov. 10 – Toronto, ON @ Less Bar w/ Smomid
Nov. 11 – London, ON @ 42 Adelaide (Upper)
Nov. 13 – Calgary, AB @ EMMEDIA Screening Room w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 14 – Kelowna, BC @ Kettle River Brewing Co. w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Selectors’ Records w/ Maskara, The Nausea
Nov. 16 – Nanaimo, BC @ private event w/ Colin Fisher
Nov. 18 – Victoria, BC @ James Bay United Church
Nov. 23 – Halifax, NS @ The Khyber Centre for the Arts w/ Kira Daube

The Crescent

Last summer I wrote a feature-length screenplay for The Crescent, an existential horror story conceived by my partner Seth Smith. A few weeks after I finished the script, Smith and producer Nancy Urich shot the movie, using their two-year-old son as the lead. Our film premiered last month at the Toronto International Film Festival and the next week screened at FIN in Halifax, where we won three awards–Best Atlantic Original Score or Song (Seth Smith), The Joan Orenstein Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Danika Vandersteen), and The Michael Weir Award for Best Atlantic Screenwriting (Darcy Spidle).

The Crescent has recently earned praise from The Globe and Mail, The Film Stage, Screen Anarchy, Cinema Axis, among many other international outlets. It screens this month at VIFF (CA) and  Sitges (ES).

Raft Recordings from Economy, Tour Dates


Portland, Oregon’s Notice Recordings just issued a 100 cassette edition on my latest offering, Raft Recordings from Economy. The album is comprised of field recordings and improvisations completed during my 2016 residency at White Rabbit. For more information and to stream/purchase, visit the Notice Recordings Bandcamp page. And while there, make sure to peruse the label’s entire catalogue. Notice is releasing some of the most interesting new music being made right now.

In other news, I’m heading on a short tour. My first stop is at at the ten year anniversary installment of OBEY Convention. The festival lineup includes Moor Mother, Senyawa, Laraaji, and so much more. Well worth checking out. After OBEY, I do four dates in Quebec and Ontario with Slow Attack Ensemble.

May 26 – Halifax, NS @ OBEY Convention X w/ Instant Places
June 7 – Montreal, QC @ la plante w/ Slow Attack Ensemble+
June 8 – Ottawa, ON @ Record Centre w/ Slow Attack Ensemble+
June 9 – Kingston, ON @ St. Mark’s Lutheran Church w/ Slow Attack Ensemble
June 10 – Toronto, ON @ Ratio w/ Slow Attack Ensemble+

I’ll likely take a break over the summer to work on scripts, but I hope to tour Western Canada and Europe this coming fall and winter. I also have a retrospective LP in the works with Feeding Tube Recordings. More details on that soon.


cover-imageSince I currently find myself navigating through a number of disparate projects and artistic personalities, I thought it would be wise to put together a website, a digital space where all my pursuits can be housed. So here it is. Check out the chik white page for background on my musical work. For more general information, head to my about page. It covers my time with DIVORCE and OBEY Convention. It also gives information about my current work as a screenwriter at CUT/OFF/TAIL. I’ll use this blog to post about things that are happening in all these facets of my career.

As of late I’ve been spending a lot of time on my chik white jaw harp project. In November I released Malform, a full-length album chronicling my recent work recording jaw harp and voice through my throat. The album sold out quickly and has been reviewed by a number of outlets, including The Quietus and We Need No Swords. In February I released an EP, Soft Shapes, on Toronto’s Power Moves Library. The album sold out in days and has already been covered by We Need No Swords and Tiny Mix Tapes. I have two new releases on the way (cassette and LP), and I hope to tour later this year. More details to come.